TEL AVIV (Feb. 1)
The Israeli and Egyptian air forces traded attacks across the Suez Canal today while ground forces on both sides of the waterway exchanged artillery fire. An Israeli, Giora Kosovitz, of Kibbutz Dalia, was killed and three soldiers were wounded by the shelling, bringing the casualty list for the week-end to two killed and 14 wounded on all fronts.
A military spokesman said Israeli jets attacked Egyptian positions in the southern section of the Suez Canal zone for 45 minutes, beginning at noon, local time today. Later they attacked Egyptian military positions on the north shores of the Gulf of Suez. All planes returned safely from both actions. A military spokesman said that during the day two Egyptian jets attacked Israeli positions near Kantara in the northern section of the canal zone and two others hit positions south of Ismailia at the canal’s midpoint. He said the Egyptian bombs missed their mark and caused no casualties or damage. Israeli and Syrian tanks battled in the Golan Heights today. A military spokesman said direct hits were scored on three Syrian tanks and two strong points. Five Israeli soldiers were wounded in the Golan Heights Friday when Syrian tanks opened fire on Israeli positions near Nahal Geshor. Two Arab guerrillas were killed in a clash with an Israeli patrol north of Kuneitra in the Golan Heights.
EGYPTIAN COMMANDO RAID ACROSS SUEZ CANAL REPELLED BY ISRAELI FORCES
Israeli forces repulsed an Egyptian commando raid across the Suez Canal yesterday. Two soldiers were slightly wounded in that action and two others were wounded in a subsequent exchange of artillery fire with the Egyptians. An Israeli soldier, Pvt. Aryeh Yudelevitz, of Rishon LeZion, was fatally wounded in a clash with guerrillas in the El Burej refugee camp in the Gaza Strip Friday night. Two other soldiers were wounded in the encounter. An Israeli military spokesman said Egyptian commandos crossed the Suez Canal opposite Ismailia at about noon yesterday and were caught by an Israeli patrol while trying to set up an ambush. The Egyptians suffered casualties but managed to retreat across the canal with their wounded, under cover of artillery fire. A military spokesman said today’s tank battle with the Syrians occurred near Rafid in the Golan Heights where Syrian forces had opened fire several times in the last two days.
Two Israeli newspapers expressed misgivings over mounting aerial bombardment of Egypt. The English-language Jerusalem Post warned that the air raids over Egypt–nine during the month of January–could bring retaliatory Arab raids on Israeli cities. The mass circulation Maariv said Israel’s deep aerial penetrations of Egypt and Syria should be halted to give Cairo and Damascus a chance to re-evaluate their positions and possibly return to the cease-fire agreements. The Jerusalem Post noted that the United States State Department had expressed anxiety over the escalation of the air war. The Post said “Certainly Israel is anxious. If Haifa or Tel Aviv were actually to be bombed, even ineffectually, retaliation would be inevitable, and the crowded Arab capitals offer tragically vulnerable targets, especially the close-packed tall buildings of Cairo.”